Welcome to the weekly hero/kaiju/robot/kaidan news round-up!
- The major story this week is that Viz has licensed the Ultraman manga!
Er, not that Ultraman manga, they already did it back in the early 1990’s (Mamoru Uchiyama’s Battle of the Ultra Brothers, fyi). No, I’m talking about Eichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi’s manga, simply titled Ultraman, which has been running in Monthly Hero‘s magazine since 2011.
This news came as a bit of a surprise, since the manga’s not incredibly popular online (scanlations fell off months ago), and the series doesn’t have an anime tie-in the way certain other Hero’s titles do (I’d have pegged Majestic Prince or Gurren Lagann to get picked up first), but no complaints here! This series is an alternate-universe sequel to the original 1966 Ultraman, featuring Hayata’s son Shinjiro, who dons a suit of power armor to do Ultraman-style battle against alien invaders on a human scale. It’s also full of slightly-off allusions to other classic Ultras and monsters, so I’ve got to wonder how much will register with your average reader pulling it off the store bookshelf.
Anyway, the manga hits the US in August, and I hope it does well. I’d love it if Hero’s took off as an international brand in the same way that Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday have!
- Here’s a first trailer for Project Itoh, an anthology anime film adapting three of Itoh’s sci-fi novels: Genocidal Organ, Harmony, and The Empire of Corpses. I’ve gotta say, it’s pretty cool to see someone other than Katsuhiro Otomo putting out a SF anthology anime movie! [more details at crunchyroll]
- This Mothra-centric trailer for the Godzilla PS4 game gives us a North American release date of July:
- The Hades-arc OVAs for Saint Seiya are streaming on Netflix. It’s blocked for Crunchyroll in the US, so this is a good chance for US fans to check out the anime’s ending…well, excluding Saint Seiya Omega.
- Kinnikuman characters are doing an advertising campaign to sell anti-pollen masks. I guess it works better than using a Kuchisake Onna to market them?
- I wasn’t a huge fan of Koichi Sakamoto’s battling magical girl series Innocent Lilies, but it is cool to see any sort of tokusatsu getting a simulcast release in English. Therefore, it bears a mention that the second season will also be streaming on Viki. [via ANN]
- Remember how the most recent Ju-On film was titled Beginning of the End? Well, the next one, the “final” one, titled Ju-On: The Final, also directed by Masayuki Ochiai, will be hitting Japanese theaters on June 20th. Given the staying power of the franchise, and the fact that there’s also another American reboot in the works, I give the finality in the title about as much credence as Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, Godzilla: Final Wars, or the two Friday the 13th movies with “final” in the title. (Did you know there’re over eighty Final Fantasy titles?) [via ANN]
- Writer Josh Bugosh (of Lobsterdance Productions) and artist Matt Frank (of IDW’s Godzilla and Transformers comics) are teaming up to do a Gamera doujinshi in honor of the monster’s 50th anniversary. While this isn’t even close to an officially authorized work, these two dudes have done impressive stuff on similar professional projects (most notably Matt’s extensive Godzilla portfolio), so I’m curious to see how this fan book turns out. It’ll be available digitally and in print at conventions starting in July (hey, that’s when G-Fest is!).
By the way, Nicholas Driscoll at Toho Kingdom has a fun new article up highlighting the history of Godzilla’s love life. It digs deep into the obscure recesses of Godzilla lore, and I commend him for the comprehensive effort there. (Plus, y’know, Maser Patrol is linked there!)